– in relation to child protection and legal commerce
The Attorney General’s Office and Ministry of Legal Affairs will proceed with steps to ratify several Hague Conventions in relation to child protection and legal commerce.
The decision was reached at the conclusion of a one-day consultation with government agencies and civil society stakeholders yesterday at the Pegasus Hotel, Georgetown.
“Taking on board the consensus in relation to the various conventions, both on the legal cooperation and commerce side, and the children conventions, I would say that we would now move to the implementation stage”, Minister of Legal Affairs Basil Williams S.C said.
A DPI release stated that government will move to implement four Hague Conventions that address children: Child Protection, Adoption, Maintenance and Child Abduction. They will also proceed with the Apostille and Choice of Court Conventions among others.
Cabinet has already given approval for the ascension of the Apostille Convention which will see the circulation of public documents “tremendously improved” between Convention states.
The implementation stage will see these Conventions being presented to the Cabinet for approval before it is handed over to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs who is charged with acceding to conventions and treaties.
“They would layover with the Dutch government in The Hague and from there we decide if we are going to reduce it into our law”, Minister Williams explained. For the Conventions to become law in Guyana, it will have to be reduced into statue form, that is a Bill, by the Chief Parliamentary Council with the AG’s chambers.
Once the Bill has been drafted it will be presented for stakeholder consultations before being laid in the National Assembly. Minister Williams expects that the government will be inclusive in each stage leading up to the ascension and ratification of these Conventions.
“It’s an ongoing process but we have to continue the impetus…at each stage we have to ensure the stakeholders are taken on board as we move along and that’s the way forward”, Minister Williams said.
The consultation on The Hague Conventions is considered a critical follow-up to Guyana’s participation in last year’s regional HCCH conference which was held in the country in July. It also sought to inform the way forward as the government seeks to enhance child protection and legal commerce.
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